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Wanderer above the Mists - Caspar David Friedrich

So, we said we have a new project. We even posted a production update of it. But… we still didn’t present it properly did we? Well, let’s correct that. Presenting: Tsar Project.

Most people upon contact with a new game simply ask “what kind of game is this?” and are satisfied by the fairly superficial answer. Simply put, Aduge’s current project is a challenging stealth game set on XVI century Russia. We could go on and on about the game’s mechanics and features, but this wouldn’t present Tsar Project more than it’s outermost layer. To most players this would do, but the target audience of our studio isn’t most players. When it comes to Aduge’s projects the more correct question we’d like to hear is “what is this game about?”. This type of question let us explain why Tsar Project is a challenging stealth game set on XVI century Russia which is the heart of the “problem”, so to speak.

Now, getting finally to the point of this post: Tsar Project as a game is about aloneness and patience. It’s not just a story about aloneness and patience, it’s a game about these concepts. This means that the game itself through it’s mechanics and challenges deals with these concepts.

Aloneness not in the sense of loneliness, but in the sense of distancing an individual from a group, up to the point he becomes a complete outsider. In Tsar’s case, the player will be immersed on the main character’s mind which is alien to the universe of the game itself, hence the feeling of aloneness. Other supernatural traits of this main character contribute to the distancing and the feel of aloneness, but the nature of these traits we leave to another opportunity.

This is a game about waiting and that is what makes it difficult in the first place. The more reckless or hasteful the player is, the more mistakes he will eventually make and this will compromise his/her task. It’s a true stealth game, where active push and aggressive behaviors end up biting the player’s hand in the long run. Waiting, contemplating, looking for patterns, reading behaviors, these are actions that rewards the player more than his skill at pressing buttons at the right time.

That being said, this is only the conceptual guide that drives the game development and design. But that is not the “right” meaning of Tsar Project and we still encourage players to play and interpret the game the way they want to. See you next post!

So yesterday we’ve told you about the Tsar Coffee. Now for the hard work: it keeps going on. Marcel just returned from the 4th Information Design International Conference in Rio, in the Tsar Project I’m in the last steps of the Character Design creative process, Game Design and Plot are tidying up the core events of the game, Vermon is working dutifully to implement a fine a.i. pathfinder algorithm, and Sound Design just finished it’s creative guidelines.

As the new fortnight beings we’re overlooking the administrative aspects of the studio and will go back to the Kremlin works tomorrow. And so those are the news from the last few days.

See you shortly!

bichinho tsar café

March 2009: Aduge starts developing it’s new game, code-name Tsar Project.
April this year: We move to our new headquarters in the Azuri Building
May: The studio turns 2yo.
July: The Adugans buy an espresso machine
September: Still no welcome party? How can it be???

Not anymore. One week ago, on September’s 8th, the so long waited Aduge’s Coffee Party took place in the three rooms of the Azuri Building currently used by the studio; being them the Headquarters Proper, Sun’s Bedroom and The Kitchen. We’ve had some of our closest friends, many types of special Brazilian coffee grains, and obviously, games.

Ingrid and Marcel competently took the charge of coffee tenders, and, among normal espressos and cappuccinos, prepared some interesting variants such as machiattos, nutella mochas and our exclusive brigadeiro coffee. We had breads, pies, cakes and snacks provided by our beloved guests. And for the games, N64′s Super Smash Bros. and Mario Tennis and CPS3′s Street Fighter 3 Third Strike (tough we don’t have a proper CPS3 machine, yet, we do the best we can with an emulator). The most remarkable challanges were undoubtedly the 4 players Smash Bros. ones.

We would like to thank our amazing guests and certify you that it was a real pleasure and reason of great happiness to us all to see you around here, so,come back soon! And for those that haven’t visited the studio yet, be sure, we are awaiting your visit!

We are working on a “new” project! Actually started last March, the project is currently around half of it’s pre-production. We call it

Tsar Project.

We will start a production journal of it very soon on this same weblog and more info will be filled on a future special page.

Last time I’ve written to you the Studio was dealing with the troubles of working in a city under the fear of Influenza. Our classes in the Universities were suspended, we were avoiding getting out of our homes, and of course, the real tension of the flu threat disturbed us.

But, hey! The sun is shining again!

The Unis reopened, and we’re all healthy, probably immunized and excited to work. Actually during this period of compulsory recession we’ve never stopped working anyway, some new dynamics and methods were introduced to our workdays. One of these is the fact that now we do work in cycles of fortnights, starting in the first Tuesday of the month we work two days in our administrative affairs; that, after a little strategy revision during last July, we separate in four main divisions, being them Personnel, Process, Marketing and Finances; so, two days in our administrative affairs, the next two days we work in our current project; that we’ll announce very soon and that you’ll be able to keep track of trough a production diary; and then it’s Saturday! Party ti- NOT. For the last 2 years we’ve been doing our main meetings in the Saturdays’ evenings. It is in these meetings that we make decisions, discuss the directions that we want our projects to go, plan our weeks and fortnights. Sunday and Monday are the free days for the Adugans; Mondays are free in the sense that we do not work in the ongoing project nor in the administrative divisions, Beto, Bruno, Ingrid and I work in our combined college degree project that we call twinbirds, Vermon has classes in college, and Marcel studies piano and music theory; after this free days we have four days of work in the project, one more Saturday meeting, this time with reports of the fortnight work, and then those free days and the cycles restarts.

The weather is great in Curitiba, so they say. Bright sun and warm dry breeze, this clean celeste skies makes everybody happy. In my humble opinion a plain grey cloudy sky is much better, like an empty sheet of paper, but of course, this warmth is great to utterly send that fear away.

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